December…the beginning of the end (of 2017)

Opening in Rain

I am not certain that I am looking toward the new year with joy, but I feel as though I’ve worn out this one (and the last) quite thoroughly. Or, they’ve worn me out. A bright spot in my life was the on-line Introduction to Japanese Poetry workshop I attended, which covered writing/understanding haiku and tanka, each form getting two weeks of study and practice. Quite involving!

The second bright spot that stands out is the bereavement counseling from the local hospice organization. Stimulating discussions with several counselors and new thoughts to think about life and death, loss and revelations. Two books stood out for me. The first is a book of poem by Barbara Crow: Coming Up for Light and Air, which title I came across and then searched out from independent sellers of second-hand books. I got an autographed copy, and also two other used copies, one of which I gave to my first HRRV bereavement counselor. The second is Grief and Bereavement in  Contemporary Society: Bridging Research and Practice (Taylor & Francis, June 2011); in particular, the article “Giving Voice to Nonfinite Loss and Grief in Bereavement”, by C.L. Schultz and D.L. Harris. As one approaches old age, nonfinite loss is surely a factor in quality of life.

The third bright spot that stands out, other than having made contact with cousins at an aunt’s funeral (although I did not think to ask for USPS contact information or email addresses). I did find another of the cousins who live on the West Coast on Facebook.

And this year included not one, but two poem-a-day challenges with the same group of people. I participated in both NaPoWriMo in April and a write-along during NaNoWriMo (November).  I held back some of the poems from my Quiet Spaces Journal for reworking, and also for submission someplace, if they turn out the way I hope.

My favorite, I think, from the 30+ poems that I wrote, last month, is from Day 10:

night sky
fiery blanket of light

a sea of stars
broad enough to span a life
deep enough to hide within

Copyright © 2017-11-10, by Elizabeth “Lizl” Bennefeld.

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